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Are marijuana impairment tests accurate?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2021 | DWI

People who are pulled over for the suspicion of impairment aren’t always intoxicated due to alcohol. It’s also possible that some individuals might have used drugs — and the widespread use of marijuana can be problematic when trying to determine if a driver is impaired. 

Unlike alcohol, which leaves the body fairly quickly, marijuana can still be found in a person’s system even after the impairing effects wear off. This makes it hard to show that a person is legally impaired by marijuana. 

Challenges of marijuana testing

One challenge is that a breath test for marijuana is only effective for a person who has smoked marijuana. This test won’t work for a person who’s consumed edibles. Even when the person has smoked marijuana, they might not get an accurate result. 

More information is necessary before any test for marijuana is considered accurate enough to back up criminal charges. One test notes that it can determine whether a driver has smoked marijuana in the past three hours, which is the amount of time it’s said that a person will remain impaired by the drug. 

Another common method of proving that someone is impaired by marijuana is by using drug recognition experts. This, as well as field sobriety testing, may be useful — but they are also subjective and might not be adequate to back up the charges. 

What to do after an arrest for drugged driving

If you’re arrested for impaired driving, you need to learn your defense options immediately. Doing this early in the process can help you to determine where to focus on your defense strategy. Your goal should be introducing doubt into the prosecution’s claims if your case goes to court.